Roadside bomb kills 3 people in Afghan capital


KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A roadside bomb exploded in Afghanistan’s capital Sunday, killing at least three people in a vehicle, the latest attack to take place even as government negotiators are in Qatar to resume peace talks with the Taliban.

Tariq Arian, spokesman for the interior minister, said a spokesman for the ministry’s public protection forces — a security force — was one of the three killed in the attack. One other person was wounded he said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for multiple attacks in the capital in recent months, including on educational institutions that killed 50 people, most of them students. IS has claimed responsibility for rocket attacks in December targeting the major U.S. base in Afghanistan. There were no casualties.

Taliban militants have meanwhile continued their insurgency against government forces while keeping their promise not to attack U.S. and NATO troops.

Sunday’s attack comes as Afghan negotiators are to resume talks with the Taliban aimed at finding an end to decades of relentless conflict. Frustration and fear have grown over a spike in violence that has combatants on both sides blaming the other.

The stop-and-go talks between the Taliban and the government come amid growing doubt over a U.S.-Taliban peace deal brokered by the administration of outgoing President Donald Trump. An accelerated withdrawal of U.S. troops ordered by Trump means just 2,500 American soldiers will still be in Afghanistan when President-elect Joe Biden takes office this month.

Biden has advocated for keeping a small intelligence-based presence in Afghanistan, but Taliban leaders have flatly rejected any foreign troops.

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